Saturday, December 29, 2012

dec. 28 report

Quick report ----

Had about five hours of fishing in me, only it was just the wrong time of the tide, and moon phase.



 First I hit the bridge Steve and I were so successful at last week, only the water was really muddy and not moving very quickly.  Then I tried some jetties out front just to kill some time.  The water out front was still dirty and foamy from the past couple of days.  It was a nice night out on the beach, with the full moon, and air temps still above freezing.  So I went back to the bridge to see if the current had picked up, but in fact it was now slack-tide.  I fished it for about an hour anyway, without much confidence.   

that's the full moon




Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dec. 19th report, still fish, still adventures, still mistakes...



   Sometimes, time in the car on the way to the shore passes quickly.
  Conversations about diving, and bridge fishing help it along so it seems like we were never in the car at all.   High tide was around 1 p.m. and were fishing around 11:30.  Perfect and not so perfect, because what it meant was that low tide would be around sunset.
    I had one on the jetty probably around 2 p.m. and that was it for the daytime.  It was about 20".


Frustration started to set in as sunset passed.  Even though this should be the best time to fish, with the strong west wind and a strong moon, there was little water to fish in.  We decided to try to fish by the lighthouse.
     There was a light shining on the water, and a bass lurking around the edges.  I had thought that I saw it roll, but wasn't sure.  I thought I had bites on my bass assassin.  Steve fished that spot, and he had a strike on his rigged eel.  Next cast, same spot, slower retrieve, fish on.  I felt good for Steve, he had put in thousands (well, maybe not quite)  of hours without catching a fish, so it was well deserved.  We left pretty quickly due to some dubious circumstances involving temporary fences with signs about construction, if you get my drift.  We decided to try to fish one more spot....A bridge on the way back.
    We took a look, and decided there would be no way to walk a big fish to shore, and we don't have a bridge gaff.  So, we took a look and found easy access from the side of the bridge.  Also, we noticed lots of top water activity.   Sploosh, splish.  We saw small bait.  The rigged eels weren't working.  The bass assassin wasn't working.  My mostly white teasers weren't working.  There were fish at our feet, and we couldn't catch them.  I put on a black teaser and starting getting bites.  After a couple of casts I had a nice 22" bass on.  After many snags and re-tying and losing gear I had a keeper on a very small black fin-s.  Then another short on a small paddle tail.  Then Steve also hooked up with a short on the fin-s.    It was getting late, so we left  them biting, (always a good feeling.)
    It was classic bass lurking in the shadows of the bridge sipping small bait off the surface.

    In general, we feel like we're constantly learning about Barnegat Bay fisheries and the areas we concentrate our fishing in.  Last year we gave up on fishing in the bay after one failed effort at Snake Ditch.  This fall we were forced to search out new places to fish, and have been able to consistently find fish, and some more than 28" well into Dec.  But maybe that's a topic for another blog entry.

As we were on the highway on the way back we heard a small yet clear thump at the side of the car. Not to go too much into the details, apparently Steve's $20,000 combo never made it IN the truck, just sat on TOP of the truck for ALMOST all the way home.

 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kas, by Steve Evans

      Two days of fishing Long Beach Island mid-November might have gone by unremarkably. I fished sunset to dark the first evening, I fished sunrise the second morning and planned to fish the same night. On the incoming tide the first night I had three small bass topping out around twenty inches around the jetties at sixty-seventh street. The following day after nothing in that area at sunrise I moved my car. I parked at the eighth street access to Barnegat light state park around ten am with the sun climbing higher to fuss with gear and formulate a plan. There I noticed an angler, a middle aged gentleman of slight build in an orange down jacket, rain pants, gaff and rock cleats clear the trail head from the dunes.
      The conversation between strange fisherman is not unlike interactions between strangers in other customary social circles; the subtle bartering in the currency of trust and information; judgement, suspicion and curiosity; the establishment of commonality through esoteric displays of not-so-hidden knowledge, social niceties, quid pro quo and often a humble peppering of boastful talk.
      I asked how the morning's fishing had been and my counterpart shrugged an uninspired "nothing". We talked about fishing and I marked his equipment and attire as he unpacked and sorted by the tailgate of his car. From half a dozen hand made denim pockets sewn inside his jacket he brought out thick plastic bags each one rolled out with a lure inside, some lures had been touched up or modified with acrylic craft paints, he showed marks where some had been hit by fish and lamented others that remained untouched. he had a modified surf bag with extra pockets attached for his sandwich and water bottle and other considerations like a rope stringer for fish. His rod was a stout custom with a meticulously cared for Penn slammer from 1976 spooled with fifty pound test braided line.  His gaff had been extended ingeniously to an appropriate jetty length by connecting old titanium golf club handles, he marked that he had never used the gaff to land a fish but he felt it to be sufficient. He drew out an index card on which the tides were written. High would be in an hour. We agreed to meet out on the rocks.
      With the tide coming in strong, a heavy surf and a heavy northeast wind working, the water in the inlet was pretty aggressive. My new friend Kas worked his way, carefully casting from the middle of the jetty, backing up a rock or two lee side when an especially menacing set of waves bore down on the rocks.
      Having slept in my car the previous night still suited in my waders; which by definition is sleep only in the sense of vaguely not being awake and certainly not fishing, I was beginning to sense the  world under the sun increasingly surreal; the muffled boom of surf; the hot sensation of wind burn which I know should really feel cold; detached somehow from the labor of casting like an exhausted runner watching helplessly the dogged plodding of feet one after the other while the mind is delerious with fatigue.
      From a more rational standpoint my enthusiasm for daylight fishing for striped bass is luke warm. I said as much to Kas when we met at the eighth street access, but he said he was too old to fish at night. Scrappy and rescourceful in a way that's admirable: his homemade gaff with a strap to carry on his back, his refashioned attire, rock cleats, rope, knife, lures and line ready to handle a big fish on the rocks. From our talk I gathered that he fished this jetty often, though he had no brag of great fish, only griped somewhat that no legal flounder had come to hand for him this past season. I hoped that he would get a good fish today.
      About the time I was ready to hang up for the afternoon, exhausted and with a night of fishing yet to rest for, I shot a look over to Kas. I saw his knees were bent, his back arched, and his rod bowed deep and pulsing with the head shakes of a heavy fish. I watched him play out the fight as I knew he had imagined it, and bring the fish close as a crowd gathered. He unslung the gaff from his shoulder cooly, as a hand finds a pocket out of habit, though I knew he'd never used the thing before. He stuck the fish perfectly on the first shot and I was frozen with amazement, and a strange sort of pride, greater than if it had been my own fish to have seen his plan play out so perfectly.
      I moved over to him to take some pictures and he confirmed what I had suspected "this is my biggest fish!" and he glowed with pride. "HE TOOK SO FAR!...HE TOOK SO FAR!!" and then more cooly "that's why I have fifty".

 
    

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

perserverance

Jason at the launch
   PART 1

     On Friday Nov. 30th 2012 Jason woke up early to leave for a promising fishing excursion.  Jason is Steve's girlfriends brother.  A novice yet enthusiastic kayak fisherman.  We had hope.  It was going to be a productive fishing trip.  By some standards a little late in the season, but Steve's infective optimism has taken hold.
    What do we have so far this season?  What do we have compared to last season?  Nothing.  No keeper striped bass.  So far it's the worst fall striper season for KGB, Steve and I in years.  It's only our second fall with the Kayaks, and we start second guessing ourselves, saying things like "Maybe last fall was exceptionally good," and "it just won't be like that again," and the like.     But this day (perhaps just like every day before the fishing starts) I am extremely optimistic.  the conditions are right.  The surf is low, 0 to 1 ft waves.  Wind 5mph.  Partly cloudy.  We start the day by looking at a couple of spots at the beach to see if there is any significant bird or bait action.  We decide that there is nothing major going on, and go straight for the second part of the plan.  Hit the bay and the inlet.
      Luckily we arrive at Barnegat Inlet just before slack tide. On Steve's first or second cast with a popper  he gets a strike.  (and a miss)  At this point we're thinking, what could be better?  Unfortunately, there's no other action for a while.  As the sun sets Jason accidentally snags a bunker with his swimming plug.  Not knowing that this is the best possible bait to use he discards it.  Then another.  This time Steve sets it up for him to live-line.  
     We have the pleasure to see a Seal swimming around us.We ride the current to Oyster Creek.  Nothing happens there. We start back towards the launch (against the current now) to one more spot that we don't fish often, but have been to once before.  While I'm half-way there Steve and Jason are behind me and I get a call on the radio that they are surrounded by Bunker.  (unfortunately there are no Bass on them.)  We fish this last spot for maybe half an hour and head back to the launch against a very strong current.
     On the car ride back to Philly we can't stop talking about how perfect the conditions were, and how surprised we were that we didn't catch any fish.

PART 2
     On Saturday Dec 1st 2012 I get a call from Steve around 2 p.m.  I answered the phone simply by saying, "you ready to go fishing?"  Yes? No? Maybe?  We hadn't planned on it.  He was getting off work early.  We both know there's fish in the neighborhood.  We scrounge together a plan.   Canal, surf, jetty, eels.  Supplies; waders, corkers, circle hooks.  Hopefully the bait shop is open.  There's no knowing post-Sandy who is open and needs the business, or just closed.
    We get ells and fish slack tide at the canal for an hour.  We move on.
    An hour later we're at LBI in the surf tossing eels.  There's a strong current pushing south, and after an hour we make our last move to the jetty.
    It's a longer walk than I thought and I start complaining like an old lady.  Miserable and nearly defeated, what I am about to do is stand out in the middle of the ocean on some rocks at high tide with the water spraying over me for one last attempt to get a keeper fish.  Some-how it still makes sense.  There are fish in the ocean.  We are in the ocean.  We have eels.  They love eels.  We are on a jetty, Stripers love jetties.  Why are we still optimistic?  Shouldn't we be completely defeated by now?   The end of the second day of not catching fish?  Shouldn't we give up and throw all of our gear into the abyss?  Let Poseidon have it.  After-all we must have done something to anger the gods to have had such a poor season.   Why do we ruin our lives?  We could be home watching T.V. like normal people.  What is our problem?
    There's isn't a soul around.  It's overcast and the moonlight is dim.  There are seals swimming around in front of us that look like floating rocks.  Dark spots that move on the water.  The air is moist.  Steve is between myself and the end of the jetty.   The crashing surf is loud.  Tap tap. A familiar feeling.  My bait runner isn't on.  No zing.  No tug.  Maybe I'm snagged?  I pull back, I feel a weight.  It's heavy, but not solid.  Fish on.
     I holler to Steve.  He comes over with the gaff.  Once it's clearly visible in the rocks it becomes obvious it's no monster.  We gaff it which could have been a mistake, as it measures at just 28".  Neither of us are experienced at gaffing fish or jetty fishing and lessons are always being learned.
     Half an hour or so later Steve is hooked up, only this time it's definitely short.
     It's coming upon 12:30 and we won't be home until 3 a.m. at this point.  There are still two live eels, but if we are to sleep in our own beds, we need to head back.  If we had stayed would we have gotten into bigger fish?  Or, would we have fallen off the jetty into the ocean in a delirious state of fatigue and exhaustion?      

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Things Fall Apart By: Steve Evans

      Unpacking from a miserable cold and thoroughly fruitless venture into some backwaters behind wildwood new jersey,  sucking down beers in alexy's kitchen too early to be home from a night fishing trip which was concieved with such promise; and crackling with the acrid pessimism; the frustration, bone chill, and exhaustion that have the comfortable familiarity of an old pair of slippers we wear on bitter nights when the waters seem empty, I distractedly mulled over a copy of Jon Shien's book Kayak Fishing generously given to me by chris, the exhuberant owner of The Kayak Fishing store. Filled with color photos, mostly of the author and friends holding out-sized fish in exotic locations, stories of triumphant days on the water and drizzled with information, tactics and tips promising to lavish the would-be kayak angler with bountiful days on the water. Are you detecting a sardonic bite to my tone? Well the book is fine really, but you can probably guess how I felt paging through this stuff after this failure of a trip which emphasised all of the negative aspects of fishing from a little plastic boat. The age old joke about fisherman being accomplished liars came to mind, this joke like most jokes carrys with it a grain of truth: while it's unfair to say that most fisherman are outright liars it is fair to say that when dealing with fish stories you are most likely only getting half the story at best, and it's the good half that you get not the bad. Famed inventor of the nautilus weight training machines Arthur Jones said that success only serves in re-enforcing our superstitions. I would phrase it this way: Failure and pain are the least desirable but most essential ingredients of  human growth and learning.
       Twice last winter I spilled my kayak in the delaware river and swamped a canoe in the fall, I lost hundreds of dollers worth of equipment and nearly contracted hypothermia. I dropped my favorite rod and reel into barnagat bay. I lost at least four flounder last summer two of which were very large after I already had them in the boat because I couldn't get them on my stringer and they escaped.  I have fished in darkness, foul weather, cold wind, rain and snow and caught nothing more times than I can remember. The spare rods I keep in the rod holders in my boat are constantly getting hung up on brush, trees, rocks, boat docks, bridge pilings and anything else you can imagine. A boat caught my line while I was fishing from the north jetty this past summer and since I did not have a knife the boat spooled my reel and the drag system was completely burned out and had to be replaced. During a fishing tournament on the chesapeake I lost my wallet which had seven hundred dollars in it and I had to work for a friend in richmond virginia so I'd have enough money to get home. I am constantly replacing sunglasses and headlamps. I have ruined more cell phones while on the water than I can remember. I have fished in the surf and caught nothing more times than I can remember. My car is perpetually filled with sand and smells like bait and mildew. I seized my 5 horsepower canoe motor the first time I used it. A few years ago I drove my old man to the hospital with a treble hook in his thumb. I once had to pry open a bluefish's jaws with plyers to remove them from alexy's thumb.
      I could really go on and on. Foul weather alone is a subject which could easily fill a blog post. Or the futility of  battling wind and waves and current in a tiny plastic boat. which leads to subjects like hunger, exhaustion, exposure, dehydration. How about simply wrestling an eel onto a hook or tying a knot in the dark? I think It is Important to emphasize these things when you see pictures of anglers in panama hats and swim trunks holding fish under sunny blue skies. I remind myself of these things because each experience is a lesson and a milestone and the challenge and futility of reconciling with the many forces of the natural world and the many farces of humanity is something that you can't get from golf.      

Friday, November 16, 2012

Muppet Movie Man

     Fishing is always hit or miss, but even more risky is trying to find new spots.  We set out with what I thought was a pretty good plan - fish a back bay area of N. Wildwood. It was a quick ride, and we found an open bait shop easily.  It was a small shop, with the first Muppet movie playing on  T.V, that sat on the counter.  We asked if he had eels, and before saying yes, he said that there were no fish, "even caught nothing on grass shrimp at my best spots yesterday."
Now I've been told that there were no fish before, and I've gone out and had a great day and caught lots of fish.  So...(Plus, what were we going to do, turn around and go home?)
"Well how much are the eels?" A dollar?  That's less than half what we'd normally pay, so our plan morphed. We got ten eels.
the crabs are in the bag!
     Onward to the Kayak Fishing store where Chris the proprietor was kind and forthright with lots of information.  Unlike the Muppet Movie Man, in fact quite diametrically opposed in his outlook, he went as far as to say there would be plenty of fish to catch, and suggested we try for Tog as well. None of us have ever Tog fished, but we were so excited by Chris' description we got a couple of hooks, 4 oz bank sinkers and a bag live green crabs.  Now we were completely pumped up.  We had eels, crabs, and boxes of lures.
The launch was pretty muddy at low tide. (Understatement)  We dragged our kayaks through the grass and the mud and togged under the bridge for a while.  After I lost one rig I gave up.  The current was pretty strong, and I wanted to explore the area a little more.  KGB and Steve stuck around the bridge a bit longer than me, but no-one had even a tap on the green crabs.  I tried to tube-n-(gulp)worm for the next hour or so.
    The current in front of the houses was ripping, and after the sun went down, we all met at a corner of the sedges where Steve and I switched to eel fishing. This is also where I probably dropped a headlamp that I had just bought.  I was effectively cold and blind when the sun had fully set.  despite this, we fished around the bridge with eels for about two more hours.  Nothing was happening at all. KGB trolled a black bomber, nothing.  His butt got wet, my butt was wet, and we were thoroughly discouraged.
 I'd like to say that some good came of this trip. A new kayak fishing spot can be a great thing when circumstances call for it.  The only explanation that makes any sense is from something The Muppet Movie Man said.  He said that the water temperature had dropped very quickly in the bay, and it turned the bite off.  So maybe under better, or even normal conditions it would be worth returning to N. Wildood, maybe....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When in Rome use a black bomber

Steve and I were planning on getting together yesterday to devise a plan for wednesday.  Instead we went fishing.
     We tried the surf at LBI, but ran into a few problems.  At first the wind seemed unbearable.  Once we found a spot with a little structure the wind had died down.  We surf fished for 2 hours, then decided to quit.  On a whim we wanted to see if we had access to the area around the lighthouse (Barnegat).  We did.  There were a few trucks parked there, and  we scoped out a spot that we could land a fish without a gaff.
     There was current, structure, and a rip.  Anything we could hope for.  It was night in Nov.  There HAD to be fish there.  After messing with several lures, working the water column, Steve puts on a black bomber and a few casts in gets a 27 3/4 bass.  I proceeded to switch to a bomber. We stayed for another hour, then headed back.  All in all a pretty good post-Sandy fishing excursion.  We had thought the fall might be over for us, but really, it's just beginning. 
     On our way out we were pulled over by a Barnegat Light policeman with an M-16.  A little overkill, I thought, even if there were looters around.  Apparently there was an 11 p.m. curfew for LBI.  I'm wondering why they wouldn't at least put a sign up at the bridge that leads to the island letting people know?  Hopefully the shore will return to some sort of normal soon.

Friday, October 26, 2012

WED, Oct 21, 2012

night bass, about 20"

blue on tube-n-worm (one of 6 landed)

So I went out to the Sedges.  Right away I was getting hits trolling Tube-n-worm to the right of the launch, but decided to head out to snake ditch anyway.  There were two other kayak fishermen leaving.  They were admiring the ocean sun fish. They said that action had been slow.  That didn't bother me.  I've heard that before.  I was planning on fishing at night anyway.
bass on Tube-n-worm


I had plenty of short bass and blues, and essentially left them biting.  The fish were all feeding in the rips at night.  Bluefish feeding at night are funny, because they have terrible night vision, so they basically chomp at anything, and miss their target quite often.






At the end of the night, around ten, I had a pretty massive hook-up, that I was confident was a keeper striped bass.  I gave it a couple of runs, and lost it in a rip because it was under my boat, and my boat had lodged in the bank.  I gave it another half hour after that, then left fairly satisfied.
ocean sunfish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_sunfish)
teasers I tied (mostly now destroyed by bluefish)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oct 17th

Oct. 17th.
The fishing was a little slow.  The water temperature was still around 60, just a bit too warm.  The weather was very pleasant, the wind and current were never a problem.  Steve and I slowly headed out to the buoys from the winter anchorage launch at IBSP.  I trolled tube-n-worm the whole way (about an hour) and couldn't buy a bite.  Steve also had no bites.  When we got to the buoy's we found some bluefish and short bass.  Our original plan was to try to tube-n-worm in the inlet along the rocks.  By the time we made it out there it was dark, and the swells coming in from the ocean were pretty high.  We decided it was safer to head in to snake ditch.  Steve picked up another short bass at the new weakfish spot.  I had a 26 inch striper on a teaser at our usual Snake ditch spot.  The Striper I caught had sea lice on it's tail. By all accounts, this means that it was recently swimming in the ocean, therefore a migratory fish as opposed to being a local resident fish.  


here's a recipe I used:

JD'S BLUE CAKES

INGREDIENTS:
1 pound of Blue filets - cooked - shredded

DRY INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup of plain bread or cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard

WET INGREDIENTS:
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup mayo
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire

INSTRUCTIONS:
Mix dry ingredients then add Blue meat and blend gently so as not
to break up meat lumps. Add wet ingredients and stir in gently.
Form into 8 cakes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine in a frying pan and
bring to a sizzle. Add cakes and reduce heat to medium (the butter
or margarine should be bubbling at the base of the cakes). Cook on
one side until golden brown then turn (add another tablespoon of
butter or margarine if necessary). Again cook until golden brown.

Serve with saltines, mustard and ice cold beer or your other
favorite beverage.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

WIND!!!!!!


Last friday evening (Oct 12, 2012)we made a trip to snake ditch.  Ross, KGB, Steve and I.  We fished late and stayed at the motel.  Our arsenal was immense; sandworms for tube-n-worm, eels, bass assassins, fly-rod, teasers, black bombers.....you name it, we used it.  What was a royal pain in the ass was the wind.  It was up to 16 to 18mph.  We still managed a couple of short bass each and KGB kept about a one pound blue for sandwiches.  I had all of my fish on the tube-n-worm, two bass and one fluke.  Still waiting for the first keeper bass of the season from Snake ditch...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

away

I've been on tour with my band for a month and that's why there have been no posts, however while I was gone KGB and Steve put some time in to fishing the Sedges.  I got some brief reports on their trips via facebook, and so I will re-post them here.  So this is what KGB reports:


(Probably around Sept 15th)  

"decent size blues, up to 20 in or so. got one bass about 20 in at night on the most ridiculous teaser i ever made... the blue and red one. steve got one fluke. pretty great day. gonna give fluking one more shot next week."

(last week of sept)

" steve went on his own yesterday. got a short fluke, and keeper fluke, short bass and a 20' weak fish. weak fish in the same spot, same time on pink finess... i know what i'm doing next time. def putting some time into weak fishing."


A real report will be up next week about the overnight trip we have planned for this friday........

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Snake ditch - almost rained out

     I wish I had a picture of the Kayak launch at IBSP when we got there.  It was pretty funny.  A dark band of clouds.  Distant thunder.  Kayaks and canoes paddling back to the safety of land (as fast and hurried as they could).
     It was one in the afternoon by the time we got there.  Steve, KGB, Ross and I.  It had rained most of the way.  But we had the power of weather reports which said there wasn't much of a chance of storms. Well, 30%.  That's not much if you've taken off from work and only have limited opportunities to go fishing.  as everyone was packing it in because of the impending storm, we headed out.  It looked to our overly optimistic minds as if the storm was going to pass to the east, (or south, or north, but it would definitely not hit us...)  So we proceeded to launch our kayaks and fish.  Trolling around to the right of the put in was unproductive so we headed to Snake Ditch.  we had planned to spend more time there anyway, because KGB was basically dropping Ross off there to fly fish.  We all stayed and fished there, but of course it  soon started to rain and threaten lightning.  After deliberating for long enough, we collectively agreed that the safest idea, albeit not the most likely to catch fish, was to return to the put in.
Rain
     We contemplating fishing the end of the Point Pleasant Canal as an option if the threat of lightning continued.  we went so far as to retrieve the cars from the parking lot.  then something very special happened.  Steve caught a fish.  This in itself is not special, of course. Throughout the day Steve probably caught as few as thirty fish.  What was special was that he caught it from shore at a moment when the rain was abating, the sun was peaking through the clouds in the distance.  Even though our gear was half broken down, we all fished from shore for about a half hour more.  Steve returned from a walk with two more bluefish.  That's a game changer.  We re-loaded up the kayaks, re-parked thhe cars, and re-paddled to Snake Ditch.
     What happened next is hard to describe.  Mostly because it was a catch and release blur of fish.  The only one of us who didn't hook up was Ross, and he was really fly fishing the salt for the first time, and he did not relent.  Among the bass were a few blues, a blackfish, and a fluke.  And some things, some perceptions may have changed from this trip.  For one, Steve caught quite a few fish on the troll.  (Steve's experience of trolling was previously not a positive one.)  KGB and I caught ALL of our fish on the troll.  My go to lure was a shallow swimmer made to look like a small weakfish.  Also, I think we all came away from this experience having a much more personal and intimate understanding of certain  fishing etiquettes that we had yet to embrace such as crushing barbs or removing treble hooks. Because we had yet to be in the situation where we were catching mostly short bass on swimmers we were not prepared.
    We admire and respect the fish.  If we're not going to eat them, we release them as best as we know how.  Reviving them and gently removing hooks.  Also handling them as little as possible.  But when there are treble hooks in their faces this becomes difficult.  So now we know.  We will be prepared with short bass friendly lures next time!

short bass on the bass assassin (single hook)

Ross, KGB,and Steve


 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

the Full Sedge take two

Well, actually lots of fishing has happened between the last blog post and this one.  So before getting into what Steve and I did yesterday, here's a brief sum up of August so far.
I think it went something like this:

Steve - Susquehanna Flats (with family)
Steve and Alexi - Susquehanna flats
Alexi - crabbing, fishing in Barnegat bay (family)
Steve and Alexi - Corson's inlet

    So, as you can see we've been busy fishing, but due to lack of pictures, or just that our lives have been extra busy there haven't been posts.

    Now, for today's post about yesterdays fishing. First off, my apparent lack of excitement about this trip may be due to the fact that i was unable to use one of reels due to a serious tangle in the line.  That really started me off in a bad frame of mind.  Although the one rod one reel sitiuation proved to be not so bad.
    Steve was determined to catch a keeper Fluke as he has not done so yet this season.  I wanted a keeper Fluke and enough Bluefish filets for the smoker.
     We left Philly early, like 6:30 A.M.  We stopped at Grumpy's and bled money on the counter.  We were fishing by 9:30
     Steve caught a wide variety of species and a great number of (small) fish and some larger fish. Here's the list; Blackfish, Bluefish, Fluke, Sea Robins, Puffer-fish, and Striped Bass.   Jigging for Fluke by buoy 28 he had double headers (teaser and bucktail) of Sea Robins and Blackfish and some small fluke.
Also he and I both caught short Stripers there.  Mine was caught trolling a floating swimmer and his was on a bucktail.
   There were many small fish biting off our Gulp constantly.  Steve had hooked up with what was close to a keeper Fluke but it came undone at the side of the boat.  After trying at buoy 28 for quite a while we moved to the inlet.  The current had switched to move us that way and so it was an easy decision.  Trolling around where Snake Ditch meets the inlet I picked up a small, (maybe one pound) Bluefish.  Then we jigged for fluke in the inlet itself.  I gave it a few passes and really felt like my best chance at catching what I set out for was to target Blues, so I switched to trolling and found a sweet spot by a rip that was holding fish.  I had a total of 6 one pounders, plenty for smoking.  Meanwhile Steve was over by the green bouy in the inlet and his determination paid off.  He caught his keeper Fluke. satisfied we made our way back via Snake ditch, and there Steve picked up a Blue on a Bass Assassin.  It was bigger than the ones I was catching, 2 to 3 pounds.
Puffer Fish (in the cooler) MMMM! (not poisonous)

    So once again The Sedges really prove to be great fishing grounds.
Striper Release
   

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Full Sedge, by Alexi

     Well this'll be an easy fishing blog entry.  I say that because not much happened.  I got a later start than I wanted.
      I hit the water around 1 p.m.  I wanted to get one or two fluke and a couple of med size bluefish for the smoker.  I started by trolling and casting in the small channel directly at the kayak launch.  My efforts were immediately thwarted by the seaweed.  I tried never the less, and after about an hour and a half was at Oyster Creek channel.
     This is where I was decidedly setting up a drift for fluking.  I tried for a little bit, but the current was a little strong, and the seaweed still bad, so I tried some fishing from land.  That also proved fruitless.  I decided to make  my move to Snake Ditch. The current was slow, and despite lots of bait, not much action.  Because of time issues, I didn't stay long at Snake ditch, maybe half an hour, then I headed straight for the inlet.  That was my best chance at a keeper fluke.  It took about 45 minutes, but then I was in 30 feet of water.  I had to at least get a short, but instead I got a snag and lost a rig.  On my drift back to the mouth of snake ditch I did manage to hook into a Houndfish.
   These guys are great fun to catch. They jump a ton.  Anyway it unhooked itself at the side of my kayak while I was contemplating it's set of teeth.
   
     Back at Snake ditch, and at the end of my day as the sun was setting and I was giving up I hooked into another fish.  About 20 inches of striped bass that I was actually hoping was a bluefish.

     There was a ton of bait, and occasionally it would explode with a big fish underneath.  They were there, I just couldn't seem to get the right presentation in the right place.  I even saw from about 100 yards away, in the flats part of the bay, a pretty large fish splashing around in what looked to be about one foot or less of water.
     when I got home I read reports of lots of 2 to 5 pound bluefish, and lots of short bass.  AND, I've been there before myself, just not this day.
A. Flats fishing for bluefish
B. Oyster Creek Channel, for fluke and bluefish
C. Snake Ditch
D. The inlet


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

adirondacks

     I was camping up at middle lake saranac for about five days with family and friends.  It's the best camping, canoeing, kayaking, fishing spot I've ever been introduced to.  I was there last year, so this was my second trip. Last year was pretty much a three day fishing marathon.This year I spent much more time relaxing and just enjoying the camping.The fishing wasn't as off the hook as last year, but then again I did much more experimenting. I caught a large mouth bass on a Hogy (homemade version), yellow perch on a small popper, small mouth on spinner baits, yellow perch on buzz bait, and of course plenty of small mouth on rubber worm.
     The only real buzzkill the whole trip was when Maisy attacked a friends dog, Buddy, and he had to go get stitches in town.
     I've got a ton of pictures.   These are some of my favorite.  However, as is always the case, neither words nor pictures can adequately capture the serenity and solitude of camping in a spot where the closest other campsite is a 15 minute paddle across a lake.


Haley in the front,

then Maisy, then me

Wendy is always pointing, "Look over there!"

Marshmallows are better burnt (Haley did stuff chocolate
chips in some which was delicious)

Home

There was always surface action near our campsite...

the view



the journey back...Wendy, Maisy, Haley.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Delaware Canoe Trip, by Alexi

     Steve and I decided to do a Delaware river trip in his canoe. It started out as an idea to take Haley(my 13 year old daughter) out, but she decided she'd rather no go.  So, what was going to be a 4 hour trip turned into a 6 hour float which took eight hours.
     If I could sum up what this trip was like the central, pivotal, moment of the day, the thing that was the glue that held the day together, it was my Hoagie.  That's a sandwich I'm talking about.  A sandwich I bought at a sandwich shop.  It had the word sandwich printed in big letters on the outside.  Inside, on the menu it said cheese hoagie.  Also, I'm sure  I saw something about all hoagies coming with lettuce tomatoes and onion.  So I ordered a cheese hoagie.  I should have suspected something was going to go wrong when the young cashier asked me for a second choice of cheese in case the first was out, when clearly there was muenster cheese in the deli case.  (My second choice was provolone.)  I got my sandwich, a red-bull for later, water and a bagel.  I ate the bagel on the way to the put in, and saved the other food for later.
deer bones

the hot dog stand on the river




    Later:  Fishing was slow.  SSSLLLOOOWWW.   Not skunked, just small and far between.  The canoe had very hard seats and 4 hours into it my butt was sore.  I was hungry.  Steve and I decided it was time to eat the sandwiches.  The sandwich I ordered was far from what I got.  Yes it had muenster. And it was between two pieces of bread.  But, THAT WAS IT!  Nada. Zilch.  Nothing else.   I wanted to throw it into the river but I was too hungry.
smallest striped bass ever
majestic
deer 


Friday, June 29, 2012

Sedge Field Experience, Not......By Alexi

The Children and Parents are ready
     What a complete letdown for a great group of kids.  Haley was going to participate in Sedge Island Field Experience, she's been amped for weeks. Months, really... since she applied, and got the recommendation of a teacher, and wrote an entrance essay, and got chosen to be one of the twelve participants. They were all ready to go on the dock.  Luggage on the pontoon boat.  Fishing rods in the rod holders. Prepared for a five day overnight camp at the Sedge House!  When last minute, and I mean very last minute, it was cancelled.   Apparently there was a small fire at the Sedge House (WE don't know when) and there was some cosmetic damage that hadn't been fixed, and so word from above (I'm guessing the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection) was that the kids couldn't stay there.  
     Wendy I were paddling around waiting for the pontoon boat to launch.  After about an hour I got several unknown phone calls.  I kind of thought it might have been Haley, so I answered, and she was obviously upset.   Wendy and I paddled over to the boat and got a little bit of the story.  Propane tank, fridge, bla bla bla.......
Alexi and Haley paddle back to the launch
     I tried to rescue the day by having Haley at least catch some bluefish, but the wind and current were against us, and for good reason her heart wasn't in it.  While Haley and Wendy went to the sit on the beach and contemplate life and all of its complications, I went to Snake Ditch and caught a 20" Fluke (second cast, BT gulp combo.) 
   Now we are awaiting an e-mail explanation with rescheduling options.  No matter what, it will be a letdown of sorts. Even though she's only twelve, we were all rooting for Haley to come back from SIFA with some pertinent information in respect to our fishing blog.  Also...I was very interested in seeing what the inside of the Sedge House looked like. Some day we may find out...    

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Soft Plastics,by Alexi


 Haley, Wendy and I went to go Kayak Fishing  in the Sedges, but the Park was closed because of lightning.  Instead we went to the north end of the Point Pleasant Canal.  We didn't catch anything, but had a good time anyhow.  I had a couple of strikes on my home made Hogy lures.


We watched the coast guard stop a boat



I decided to make some more.  This stuff really stinks when your baking it.  my lures don't look so hot either, I get lots of air bubbles, but they still elicit strikes when other lures don't.  I'm trying something I haven't seen done, although I'm sure people have tried it, and that's embedding the hooks into the plastic while it's hot. We'll see how well it works.  
plaster mold




final product